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The Coming Race


Published June 28, 2008


LibriVox recording of The Coming Race, by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. Read by Maire Rhode.

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803-1873) was an English novelist, poet, playright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", and the infamous incipit "It was a dark and stormy night." Despite his popularity in his heyday, today his name is known as a byword for bad writing. San Jose State University holds an annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for bad writing in which contestants have to supply terrible openings of imaginary novels, inspired by his novel Paul Clifford, which opens with the famous words: “It was a dark and stormy night”.

The Coming Race drew heavily on his interest in the occult and contributed to the birth of the science fiction genre. Unquestionably, its story of a subterranean race of men waiting to reclaim the surface is one of the first science fiction novels. The novel centres on a young, independently wealthy traveler (the narrator), who accidentally finds his way into a subterranean world occupied by beings who seem to resemble angels, who call themselves Vril-ya. The hero soon discovers that they are descendants of an antediluvian civilisation who live in networks of subterranean caverns linked by tunnels. The narrator suggests that in time, the Vril-ya will run out of habitable spaces underground and will start claiming the surface of the earth, destroying mankind in the process, if necessary. (Summary compiled from Wikipedia)

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Download M4B (191MB)


Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 6:55:49

Reviews

Reviewer: jonsnow - - February 12, 2014
Subject: boring
Boring, I didn't make it past chapter 2.
Reviewer: jxchristopher - - February 21, 2010
Subject: a subterranean utpoia (sorta)
A Hollow Earth science fiction-y story by Edward "It was a dark and stormy night" Bulwer-Lytton.

A fair plot made much more entertaining through a great reading from Maire Rhode.

Ya Librivox!
Reviewer: mikezane - - November 19, 2009
Subject: Dry book somehow
I am not giving this book a rating, just a review because I could not finish this book.

The storyline seemed very dry, the hero fell down a hole and encountered some beings who learned his language by manipulating his mind somehow. That's about the farthest I got, it just didn't pick up and I lost interest in it. I think it just wasn't my type of hype.

The reader was excellent, however, and I would not discourage anyone from giving it a try, it just didn't capture MY attention. :-)
Reviewer: zz_07 - - November 13, 2009
Subject: good reading
Thanks.
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